Indian Railways Silently Shuts Down Passenger Trains; Generate 100% More Revenues


Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

Feb 26, 2024


End of Budget Travel As Passenger Trains Become Expensive Specials

The Indian Railways has discontinued operating dedicated low-cost passenger trains that catered to migrants, daily wagers and the poor by stopping at small stations enroute. These services have now been rebranded as express specials.

Indian Railways Silently Shuts Down Passenger Trains; Generate 100% More Revenues

But unlike pure passenger trains, commuters boarding these specials are charged express category fares that are often double earlier ordinary passenger rates – sparking hardship.

Double Fares Overnight For Captive Users

Officials admit the ordinary second seating fare structure tied to now discontinued passenger trains stands withdrawn. The specials ply on same routes and rakes, but fares have simply been hiked overnight – Chennai-Vellore up from ₹30 pre-pandemic to ₹65 now for instance.

Critics argue altering classification alone when speed hasn’t improved is unfair on captive travelers with no alternatives. Fare charts still display outdated lower prices causing chaos.

Doubled Earnings But At What Cost?

The Southern Railways generating highest ever ₹6,345 crore passenger revenue in 2022-23 points to the earnings impact of silently raising special train fares.

But this shrouded withdrawal of low-cost connectivity that kept migrant livelihoods afloat pre-Covid has sparked questions on social consequences of railroading policy changes without public debate.

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Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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